How to communicate brilliantly as a manager | Moorepay
March 5, 2024

How to communicate brilliantly as a manager

manager communication brilliantly with happy staff member

Being a manager puts you in a difficult position: you’ve got to champion your reports, whilst keeping the business’ goals in mind. Whether you’re new to a managerial role, or want to refresh your communication skills, here are our recommendations.

Balancing different needs

One of the first things many new managers notice is the position that having authority puts them in. Now, they are privy to the business’ wider ways of thinking including stances on certain areas, such as performance goals and salary tactics. For the first time they have to keep the business’ needs in mind too – all whilst trying to support their team’s professional development. For example, on the topic of pay rises, a manager may need to remain outwardly supportive of the business’ choices, even if they have a differing opinion on the matter.

In general, managers do act as one of the many faces of the organisation, so when communicating to their reports, managers should strive to remain professional. They should try and share the company’s reasoning to help their reports understand the company’s choices. Where possible, they should try not be openly critical about their organisation or complain to their reports about issues.

However, a good manager should raise any issues they or their reports have with the appropriate person or teams, in a calm and constructive manner. In this way they can try and enact change for their team whilst respecting business processes.

Building trust

Building trust with your reports is a long-term project, and you can’t presume you’ll get it right away when you start to manage someone. Here are two ways you can build trust over time.


Of course, as discussed, sometimes you can’t be completely open with your feelings as a manager if they conflict with business interests. However, where possible, timely and open communication is the key to establishing trust within your team. Keeping them informed – whether that’s about business updates or personal progression and feedback – will pave the way for that open relationship.


Your reports want to know that if they come to you about anything, they can be fairly sure you will react in a measured and consistent way. It’s not nice for employees to be wondering what mood you’ll be in, and how you’ll respond to something from one day to the next – and from one teammate to the next.

That doesn’t mean you have to give the same answer to everyone of course. It means following the same logical process for each query so you reach a considered conclusion, no matter the day, the person, or the situation.

Encouraging two-way communication

As well as sharing information openly, you also need to be able to listen carefully to what your reports share and treat it respectfully and confidentially where necessary. If the conversation is one-sided, then you know you’re not doing it right! Here’s how you can establish that two-way communication.

Active listening

When people talk to you, you need to empathise with their point of view, and consider what it is they’re saying fully. You should never read between the lines, but always prompt for more information if you think there’s more left unsaid. It can be helpful to repeat back what you’ve heard succinctly, to ensure you’re on the same page, and reassure the person you’ve understood their points.

Being readily available

Another key quality of good communication as a manager is being available to talk. Many employees struggle not because their manager is unhelpful or unskilled in any way, it’s simply because they don’t have much access to their manager to get the support they need. So encourage people to approach you if they have any questions for you, and make sure you’re setting aside time to support them as often as they need it.

Ensure quiet voices are heard

It’s your job to ensure that the team members with whom you have direct contact get an equal chance to have their say. Which includes balancing the views of all team members – and not just listening to the loud team members. To do this, you may need to directly ask those who aren’t speaking up what their point of view is. Or if anyone is particularly shy, it might mean getting their feedback privately later.

Different approaches for different people

Adapting your communication to the individual is really the foundation for any relationship. Acknowledging different people have different ways of talking, thinking, planning, doing and even bonding can help you forge those professional relationships.

This doesn’t mean give anyone special treatment of course. You’ve got to keep fairness in mind at all times, so you don’t find you’re accidentally discriminating against anyone by not giving them opportunities (or kindnesses) that are afforded to other people. However you can, and should, be able to adapt your communication style to suit the person you’re talking to.

It might be that one person you manage needs a bit more one-on-one time with you, whereas someone else prefers to be self-sufficient – in which case you share your time accordingly. Or it might be that when briefed on a task, most people are happy to have this told in person, but another prefers tasks to be written down so they don’t miss any information.

You can easily find out what works best for your team by simply asking each person and checking in from time to time.

In summary

No matter your mood, communicating well as a manager is an essential skill you need to be able to draw upon every day. You can do this by keeping your employees’ and your business’ needs in mind, building trust, encouraging two-way conversion, and being flexible to the needs of others.

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Karis Lambert Moorepay's digital marketing executive's profile photo
About the author

Karis Lambert

Karis Lambert is Moorepay's Digital Content Manager, having joined the team in 2020 as Digital Marketing Executive. Karis is CIM qualified, and keeps our our audience up-to-date with payroll and HR news and best practice through our digital channels, including the website. She's also the co-founder of our LGBTQIA+ network Moore Visibility.

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